“If they really cared, they’d be Republicans.”

As the Blogfather notes, Frank Luntz is still evil, but I don’t think he picked up on how evil (warning: PDF file):

3. What would Jesus do? Tell me what YOU would do and leave Jesus out of it. The time for a conversation about faith and spirituality is in the general election, not the primaries. Democrats don’t want to hear about your church. If they really cared, they’d be Republicans.

Emphasis on last sentence mine.

More below the flip.

I truly have to wonder if Luntz is still working for the Republicans.

Honestly, when a guy can piss off a neo-pagan while talking about church attendance, you know he’s got something special going for him. Sure, I’m wary of a Democrat who uses faith the way Republicans do — i.e., like a billy club — but I certainly don’t object to them talking about religion in an honest way. I admired Kerry’s handing of his Catholicism, for instance; it was his inability to fight back against the Swift Boaters and their ilk that drove me to distraction.

Sure, various flavors of humanist are a large voting bloc of the Democratic party, but who the frack is he kidding? Both parties are overwhelmingly religious in membership, and I would be amazed if the Democrats weren’t still comfortably majority Christian. While Democrats have to be careful on this particular issue, with a large minority of non-Christian voters becoming more important to the coalition, the idea that if Democratic Christians “would be Republican if they cared” is so obscene, Luntz should be permanently disinvited from future gigs with our party, for sheer incompetence if nothing else.

This may well be exhibit A in Kos’ case against the entrenched consultant cabal. The last thing we need are more Baltars on our “side.”

(/) Roland X
Fleeing the Chenon tyranny, the last Battleblog, Galactikos, leads a rag-tag fugitive fleet on a lonely quest; a shining concept, known as Truth.


Actually, I think it’s kind of right. (4.00 / 4)

If someone cares about a politician’s piety and sees that as an important part of their ability to serve as a role model to citizens, especially young citizens, then I’d say they’re probably more likely to be a Republican.  

If someone has deep moral values that are inextricably tied to his religious beliefs, but supports a politician because she shares those moral values, regardless of her religious beliefs, then I’m not sure how that shakes out with regard to the voter’s party affiliation.

I see politicians pretty much as policy makers, end of story; conservatives seem to put more emphasis on the role model part.

The Wine of Youth ferments this night in the veins of God – Alfred de Musset.

by dirkster42 on Fri Mar 31st, 2006 at 23:18:11 PDT

I’m with dirkster (4.00 / 3)

I think you’re reading it wrong. He’s admonishing candidates to emphasize their personal convictions rather than outward piety: “Tell us what you would do.”

I remember Howard Dean talking about meeting some evangelicals who supported him. He said, “Why would you support me? You know I’m pro-choice.”

The woman replied, “Yes, and I disagree with you on that, but it’s more important that I know where you stand in general.”

A substantial chunk of the Republican electorate uses piety as a proxy or indicator for strong convictions, but Dems aren’t likely to.

by hamletta on Sat Apr 1st, 2006 at 06:45:13 PDT

I get your point (4.00 / 5)

It reads harsh, but as a strategy to win the democratic primaries, it is probably correct.  I don’t think that the democrat with the best statement of faith wins the nomination.  It is not an issue that the vast bulk of democratic primary voters have historically spent alot of time on.

Here is what causes me concern:

Winning is everything. And the only thing. As in 2004, Democrats want to win. Unlike 2004, they REALLY want to win. No candidate will secure the nomination whom they fear will lose to the Republican nominee.  Electability is going to play a major role in 2008.

“Electability” is the magical parameter that brought us John Kerry.  It seemed to be the rather curious notion that one should select a candidate based on how you think other people will vote in the general election rather than your personal preference of the choices at hand.

The problem with this is that you can never truly guess how others will vote.  It arises from a deep insecurity about your own convictions.  It is the perfect formula for picking another milquetoast candidate who can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

by Quakerbill on Sat Apr 1st, 2006 at 05:05:40 PDT

I think the real issue (4.00 / 3)

in my mind and maybe in others’, is whether Luntz can be trusted to give truly appropriate and sincere advice to Democrats. I feel his heart is with the other team. I was also kind of put off by the notion that “if they really cared they’d be Republicans.” It’s true in a way, for just the reason someone else mentioned, that Democrats are less about external piety and insincere invocations of Jesus would be inappropriate, but it’s untrue that religious convictions are irrelevent to Democrats. Plenty are Democrats exactly because of their faith, and find religious Democratic candidates attractive.

by Elizabeth D on Sat Apr 1st, 2006 at 10:52:18 PDT

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